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Whaat? MindF*ck: Time Loops

For the Ghouls Whaaaaat?? Mind F*ck series, we're discussing time loops. What are they? How do they differ from time travel? Why are you being punished for all eternity to repeat the same mistakes and horrors over and over and over again? We watched Resolution & Endless (they're a package deal) and Triangle.


RED: Quotes, someone else's words.

Kat's Facts - Time Loops and Changing Our Fate

There are a LOT of films and shows and just media around the idea of time loops, used by just about every genre out there, from Romantic comedy, to drama, to thriller, to horror film. Now the question we’re asking, the reason you come to the ghouls is cause you’re wondering, “Hey, what are time loops? And can timeloops happen?” I watched a video from MisterAmazing called time loops are impossible and it basically told me how the idea of them works. So Time loops are considered to be a loop of inevitable events that take place, meaning that time itself has no past present or future, it only continues and that everything happens as a necessary cog in the wheel. So take my favorite movie for example, The first terminator which was filmed in the 90s follows this inevitability. John Connor from the future, sends Kyle Reese back in time to save his Mom, which is the action that must take place for John to be born, so for John to exist to lead a human army against the machines, he must send Kyle Reese back in time to save his mom, have sex with his mom, and make john. Kyle has to die because he cannot exist past the point of John’s conception, because doing so would result in multiples of him in the same universe. The terminator must go back in time to try and kill Sara Connor (John’s mom) so that an arm can be left by the machine which is used to fast track the technology necessary to trigger skynets attack. They are going back in time yes, but that is an essential piece of the future becoming what it is, so in theory they are living a loop that must happen to allow for the future. The 2nd movie throws this out the window, suggesting there is a way to cheat this inevitable reality, and the third is a cheap attempt to salvage that mistake. SO there are COUNTLESS movies that cover this idea. 12 Monkies is the one that MisterAmazing talks about the most, in that the main character Cole must see himself get shot at the airport in order for the pandemic to be released, that in trying to change the timeline he is completing the inevitable time loop that facilitates his future. So time has no set place, it only moves forward and endlessly, repeating the same course of events at nauseum. Now are we living in a time loop, DO WE HAVE THE POWER TO CHANGE OUR FATE?! I’d argue neither are true. I think we just exist until we don’t, and we repeat things out of ignorance of what those who have lived before us did. My grandad says that the hardest thing to do is learn from other people's mistakes, that we kind of as humans feel the need to figure things out for ourselves despite the information presented, and that it takes a rare person to be able to learn from other peoples actions.

So why do we see Time loops so much? An article called Time Loops-the plot device that comes back again and again said “ Like zombies – another idea that refuses to die – the time loop has shown itself to be a simple yet malleable conceit. It’s comedy. It’s horror. It’s dark. It’s ridiculous. It riffs off the human desire to wipe away mistakes, but adds the torture of knowing nothing you do will matter. It allows for themes of life, society, time, routine, drudgery, dreams and nightmares and the individual’s struggle through it all.” they go on to argue that this is caused by the growing awareness of the multiverse – or parallel worlds – theory is arguably one; the rise of video games certainly is.

Games remain the ultimate in time loop entertainment, offering death and resurrection until you finally win. This idea kind of blew up from the 1990s on. And it’s versitality lent it to being repeated.



Gabe's Film Analysis - Relationships and Doom

Endless and Resolution - What Justin and Aaron want you to think these films are about is relationships. We got two friends who over a week come to terms with the roles they each play in each other’s lives and to value their friendship in Resolution. In Endless, we have two brothers with a toxic codependent relationship where the older brother thinks he knows best because he escaped a UFO, Genital Removing, Death Cult and therefore should make all the impactful decisions for the both of them which is really belittling and unhealthy for both of them and he only experiences true growth when he finally lets his brother make a decision. BUT what I want to talk about is HP mother f-ing LOVECRAFT a duh.

It’s me, ya girl Gabe and I love lovecraftian shiz. Some standard themes and motifs in Lovecraft's writing is the slow descent into madness, unknown and un-understandable beings controlling people and the average human plagued with curiosity and the addiction to knowledge which leads them down a terrible path of death or worse.

That’s all prevalent in both of these films by Justin and Aaron. These boys love Lovecraft too, remember their film Spring which is a BIG favorite of mine? They did it. And we’ve actually talked about Endless previously, for our Occult episode. Don’t worry if you don’t remember it. We don’t either. That was a weird time where we spat out a few episodes because we were ill and the only memorable one I suggest going back to listen to is Demonology because of the Warrens. Instead, if you wanna hear about Endless, listen now!

This film does a great job of using wide lenses, vignette effects and somewhat fish-lens warped looks to make things feel uncomfortable to the viewer when confronted with the uncertainty and unsettling nature of the thing in the air.

Triangle is about...drumroll please - Purgatory or Hell. Depends on how you feel about child abuse. SPOILERS While the movie doesn’t spell it out plainly, the suggestion seems to be that, back at the beginning of the film’s events, Jess accidentally killed her son in a burst of rage. Shocked and dazed after this act, Jess then boarded the boat with Greg and Victor; Victor even notes the strange way Jess reacts when he asks where Tommy is. Having committed the terrible sin of killing her own son, Jess is fated to experience the same emotions of guilt and desperation over and over again. Den of Geeks Triangle’s recursive story and themes of sin and punishment are underlined by one character’s pointed mention of the Greek myth of Sisyphus: the king sentenced by Zeus to push a boulder up a hill for all eternity.

Reddit User Ataromos says “Jess, along with her friends, are in a triple-depth recursion hell after dying at sea, Heather being the only survivor. The cab driver at the end of the movie is death, and this eternity of violence is her punishment for murdering her son, Tommy. Crazy, but that's less of a stretch than you might think.” -The time on Jess's watch is the time she died. In the current iteration, her watch says 8:20, which is a reasonable time for her car crash to occur (especially if they leave port around 9). Greg's watch says 11:30, which is the time he died (the time the boat sank)

One Jess dies on the ship and is killed/thrown overboard by another Jess Cycle 1: Jess the son murderer Jess murders Tommy, undistracted by doorbell, and changes out of blood-soaked sundress. She drives herself to the harbor, and boards the boat with keys in pocket. She drops her keys, which are picked up by Cycle 2 Jess. When having an encounter with Victor, she is interrupted by Cycle 2 Jess storming through. She encounters Cycle 3 Jess, and just before killing Cycle 3 Jess (who she may think is Cycle 2 Jess who almost shot her), learns that she was attempting to save her son. Cycle 1 Jess murders Sally who crawls into the same place as always, and then escapes the ship, telling Cycle 2 Jess that she needs to save her son. Cycle 1 Jess then interrupts herself from murdering Tommy, kills what would have been a recurring Cycle 1 Jess, thus becoming Cycle 2 Jess.

Cycle 2: Jess in the Movie One Jess jumps overboard and does not mention that she's saving her son as she's going over Cycle 2 Jess dies in a car accident, and is brought back to the harbor by the driver. When having an encounter with Victor, she kills him, and encounters Cycle 1 Jess about to kill Victor. As we see in the movie, Jess shoots Sally in the Theatre AND murders Sally who crawls into the same spot as always, and picks up the keys dropped by Cycle 1 Jess, dropping them for Cycle 3 Jess to pick up. She jumps off the ship, without telling Cycle 3 to save her son, and interrupts Cycle 1 Jess from murdering Tommy, becoming Cycle 3 Jess.

One Jess jumps overboard and does mention that she needs to save her son as she's going over

Cycle 3: Jess the murdered Cycle 1 Jess is interrupted before murdering Tommy. Comes across dying Sally and tells her that she is not the murderer. Cycle 3 Jess's head gets clipped when she attempts to later kill Sally in the Theatre, and finally dies to Cycle 1 Jess's crowbar

Aaaand that’s that.



Media from this week's episode:

The Endless (2017) Directors: Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead

As kids, they escaped a UFO death cult. Now, two adult brothers seek answers after an old videotape surfaces and brings them back to where they began.

Resolution (2012) Directors: Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead

A man imprisons his estranged junkie friend in an isolated cabin in the boonies of San Diego to force him through a week of sobriety, but the events of that week are being mysteriously manipulated.

Triangle (2019) Directors: Christopher Smith

A group of friends suffer a yachting accident and take refuge on a cruise drifting on the open sea, but quickly realize they were better off on the upturned yacht.


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